Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Berk or Columbia?

Berkeley
13
38%
Columbia
21
62%
 
Total votes: 34

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transferror
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby transferror » Sat May 02, 2015 4:35 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
lokikoala wrote:seems like you can't go wrong here - what did you choose?


you mean RIGHT

LOL at taking on this much debt for PI. Doesn't OP know PI has tons of trust fund kids and people with full schollies? They aint "suffering" like OP will be.

I wish 0Ls who don't manage their own fucking money would STFU about debt loads for PI.

Taking on 200k+ debt for PI is stupid as shit IMO. Just watch that debt grow to like 600k in that 10 year period and hope that you actually keep your PI job for 10 years...and that the government/your school doesn't fuck you over by changing the programs on you. LOLOLOL.


Can someone explain to me how the latter part could be true? Even if they change the program, wouldn't that not affect me as the PI student? Is there not a contract that guarentees my payment program? aren't I immune from any changes and I'd be grandfathered in if anything?

Big Law is not the only path in law. Perhaps be a bit more respectful.


There has been buzz and bipartisan proposed legislation to cap PSLF, so ppl are worried that the program will be dramatically altered in a negative way or wiped out altogether at some point. It's all speculation and there's no way to know what will happen or if ppl will be grandfathered in.

However, some schools have an LRAP that's not tied to the IBR/PSLF programs (mostly the top schools), and it's highly unlikely IMO that the schools would screw the students over even if Congress screws up the PSLF program.

The downside is just so astronomical that some ppl freak out and advise against large debt for PI, even at top schools with independent LRAPs

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat May 02, 2015 11:48 pm

transferror wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
lokikoala wrote:seems like you can't go wrong here - what did you choose?


you mean RIGHT

LOL at taking on this much debt for PI. Doesn't OP know PI has tons of trust fund kids and people with full schollies? They aint "suffering" like OP will be.

I wish 0Ls who don't manage their own fucking money would STFU about debt loads for PI.

Taking on 200k+ debt for PI is stupid as shit IMO. Just watch that debt grow to like 600k in that 10 year period and hope that you actually keep your PI job for 10 years...and that the government/your school doesn't fuck you over by changing the programs on you. LOLOLOL.


Can someone explain to me how the latter part could be true? Even if they change the program, wouldn't that not affect me as the PI student? Is there not a contract that guarentees my payment program? aren't I immune from any changes and I'd be grandfathered in if anything?

Big Law is not the only path in law. Perhaps be a bit more respectful.


There has been buzz and bipartisan proposed legislation to cap PSLF, so ppl are worried that the program will be dramatically altered in a negative way or wiped out altogether at some point. It's all speculation and there's no way to know what will happen or if ppl will be grandfathered in.

owever, some schools have an LRAP that's not tied to the IBR/PSLF programs (mostly the top schools), and it's highly unlikely IMO that the schools would screw the students over even if Congress screws up the PSLF program. The downside is just so astronomical that some ppl freak out and advise against large debt for PI, even at top schools with independent LRAPs


Yep to the above. I want to add that law schools are basically all for profit. We don't know whether they will change their programs because they can't afford not to (given the ridiculous amounts they are paying for faculty, etc.). Some of the law schools have shitty endowments (like Berkeley) and now that law schools have to hand out massive scholarships to get okay applicants to matriculate, who knows what financial situation they will be in in the next 10 years.

As for the post about me being "respectful" - it's not about that. It's about not being a complete moron with money. But you know what? I don't really give a shit. If you want blow 200k on a degree (which will probably increase to at least 6-700k within 10 years of not paying down interest under LRAP) where you will get paid 50k a year in NYC (if you can even land such a job in the first place) and be barely able to survive, then go ahead.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Sun May 03, 2015 12:52 am

AwesomeLawyer wrote:
OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:I know it is high :(( I am a splitter with a high GPA. Took the test two times. I am not looking at other T14 schools due to either being rejected or getting lower financial aid even after negotiations, and CLS and Berk are really my favorites :)


Retake. You will have much better offers than this with a higher lsat


I appreciate your response, but this is not very helpful. You guys are asking what my numbers are and how many times I took it as if this is the only consideration you have to take into account. Everyone's circumstances are different. I might as well be retaking LSATs until I am 40 and get into Yale on a full ride at the end, but this is not something that works for me. If it works for you guys, all the best to you.


Why is your situation different? What makes a retake a worse option for you than it is for so many others?

dabigchina
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby dabigchina » Sun May 03, 2015 1:25 am

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:
OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:I know it is high :(( I am a splitter with a high GPA. Took the test two times. I am not looking at other T14 schools due to either being rejected or getting lower financial aid even after negotiations, and CLS and Berk are really my favorites :)


Retake. You will have much better offers than this with a higher lsat


I appreciate your response, but this is not very helpful. You guys are asking what my numbers are and how many times I took it as if this is the only consideration you have to take into account. Everyone's circumstances are different. I might as well be retaking LSATs until I am 40 and get into Yale on a full ride at the end, but this is not something that works for me. If it works for you guys, all the best to you.


Why is your situation different? What makes a retake a worse option for you than it is for so many others?


I think it's weird that he didn't get moderate $ from a lower t14 but whatever.

Edited because I can't read

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby jbagelboy » Sun May 03, 2015 2:59 pm

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:
OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:I know it is high :(( I am a splitter with a high GPA. Took the test two times. I am not looking at other T14 schools due to either being rejected or getting lower financial aid even after negotiations, and CLS and Berk are really my favorites :)


Retake. You will have much better offers than this with a higher lsat


I appreciate your response, but this is not very helpful. You guys are asking what my numbers are and how many times I took it as if this is the only consideration you have to take into account. Everyone's circumstances are different. I might as well be retaking LSATs until I am 40 and get into Yale on a full ride at the end, but this is not something that works for me. If it works for you guys, all the best to you.


Why is your situation different? What makes a retake a worse option for you than it is for so many others?

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Mon May 04, 2015 12:45 pm

I am not going to share all the personal details of my life on this forum. If you are not willing to accept that retaking would not be a viable option for me personally, I respect that. I understand that you believe that you do not have enough information to answer my question. So don't. I specifically said that in my original post.

In terms of respect, I think it's one thing to say "I don't believe you are making a smart decision based on x and y, think about it carefully," and another to say something like "I cannot believe you can be such a moron to make the decision LOLOLOLOLOLO." I do not know how old you guys are, but I assume we are all adults here, so let's try to talk like adults. Every year people complaint about the toxic environment in top law schools, but maybe we could change something about it by trying not to be toxic to each other even before we start our 1L. In my years of experience in multiple areas of law, I have learned that, of course, part of the job of being a lawyer involves dealing with assholes on a regular basis, but that does not mean you have to be one. Make your argument, support it with evidence, be persistent, even passionate, but do not resort to humiliating and ridiculing. This is just not professional. If you don't care or don't want to answer the question because you think it's "stupid," again, just don't.

About lower ranked schools - I applied to some lower ranked T14s and one T20, and was either waitlisted or not given enough aid that would make the decision to go worth it. I was offered full tuition at an ok regional school before even applying, but that is not what I want to do. I went to a regional school and transferred to an Ivy for undergrad, and my personal opinion, supported by some evidence, that there is a big difference. The opportunities you are presented with, especially if you do well, are overall worth it. There is evidence that says the same about law schools, even for those who take on the debt. However, of course, each decision should be personal. I also have not applied to some T14 law schools which I had absolutely no intention of going to. I agree that I probably should have, purely for negotiation purposes.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon May 04, 2015 4:19 pm

AwesomeLawyer wrote:I am crazy scared of 200K+ debt

This is why people are recommending a retake, but you don't seem too scared.

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L’Étranger
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby L’Étranger » Mon May 04, 2015 4:36 pm

Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?

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bretby
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby bretby » Mon May 04, 2015 4:54 pm

L’Étranger wrote:Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?


Yes - whether or not you are taking advantage of LRAP, student debt will count against you when trying to get a mortgage, etc. And for the OP with the SO who will be making $ hand over fist, just know that your crazy debt will likely no longer be LRAP eligible and will take a significant bite out of your combined earnings.

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transferror
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby transferror » Mon May 04, 2015 4:56 pm

bretby wrote:
L’Étranger wrote:Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?


Yes - whether or not you are taking advantage of LRAP, student debt will count against you when trying to get a mortgage, etc. And for the OP with the SO who will be making $ hand over fist, just know that your crazy debt will likely no longer be LRAP eligible and will take a significant bite out of your combined earnings.


Even if not married and/or file separately?

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Mon May 04, 2015 5:11 pm

transferror wrote:
bretby wrote:
L’Étranger wrote:Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?


Yes - whether or not you are taking advantage of LRAP, student debt will count against you when trying to get a mortgage, etc. And for the OP with the SO who will be making $ hand over fist, just know that your crazy debt will likely no longer be LRAP eligible and will take a significant bite out of your combined earnings.


Even if not married and/or file separately?


They do not combine your incomes if you are not officially married and it depends on the specific school's LRAP if/how they count your spouse's income if you file separately. Berk's averages the two incomes if the spouse's is higher.

The negative credit impact is definitely a point that I am considering.

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Mon May 04, 2015 5:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:I am crazy scared of 200K+ debt

This is why people are recommending a retake, but you don't seem too scared.


I see, it does sound like I contradict myself. 200K+ before interest is a scary number for a person who has never taken out more than 30k in loans and has manged to keep an excellent credit. 150K I am more willing to deal with. However, as other commentators pointed out, once you put all your eggs into the LRAP basket, 70K or so might not make that much difference. I see their point, although at this point I am still leaning towards Berkeley, unless I am somehow magically able to negotiate something out of Columbia. I am also not taking into account Berkeley's need based grant increases and things like summer public interest grants, so the number is likely to be somewhat lower.

hey, it's not a perfect situation, but you have to make the best out of your circumstances. I appreciate the recommendations and I am aware that it is generally advisable to retake, however, it will not make much difference in my situation.
Last edited by AwesomeLawyer on Mon May 04, 2015 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 04, 2015 6:10 pm

The primary benefit of this thread should be that OP now knows the options & the consequences. It is doubtful that anyone is going to recommend taking on $200,000 of student loan debt even though both law schools are outstanding. Debt affects almost every aspect of one's life. And, to be clear, your options are not limited to either Columbia or Berkeley.

Butter
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Butter » Mon May 04, 2015 9:05 pm

Redamon1 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:Columbia might give you a better shot at PI by virtue of lesser competition compared to Berkely where a ton of people are gunning for PI.


Not sure about this. If anything, I think this cuts the other way. PI hiring is even more connections-oriented than other fields, so going to a school with other PI-interested students, faculty, and alumni is a plus for network building. Also, PI is a vast category, so assuming OP has pretty specific professional interest, I would imagine there wouldn't be more than a few students at any school planning to apply for the exact same job/org in the same city as OP. Plus, unlike firms, it's not like an NGO is looking for a small smattering of students from a mix of T14 schools when it hires full-time attorneys. So from any school you're competing with other qualified candidates from all the other schools; you're not especially competing with other candidates from your own school.


Yeah, I think the competition thing really only applies to private legal markets, and only very slightly. For example, it is often the case that more NYC firms interview at Berkeley than there are students that want to go to NY, so if you fall into that subset you may have a slight advantage over someone at say Penn or Cornell given equal class standing. But that is Biglaw. OP wants PI, so the network is of the utmost importance. For getting PI Berkeley will provide greater assistance. (Also learn how to spell Berkeley).
Last edited by Butter on Mon May 04, 2015 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon May 04, 2015 9:06 pm

bretby wrote:
L’Étranger wrote:Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?


Yes - whether or not you are taking advantage of LRAP, student debt will count against you when trying to get a mortgage, etc. And for the OP with the SO who will be making $ hand over fist, just know that your crazy debt will likely no longer be LRAP eligible and will take a significant bite out of your combined earnings.


Uh, I don't think that's true. My credit score actually shot through the roof because of my student loan debt. As long as you are making payments, whether yourself or through your school's LRAP, you are fine.

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Tanicius
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon May 04, 2015 9:13 pm

Butter wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:Columbia might give you a better shot at PI by virtue of lesser competition compared to Berkely where a ton of people are gunning for PI.


Not sure about this. If anything, I think this cuts the other way. PI hiring is even more connections-oriented than other fields, so going to a school with other PI-interested students, faculty, and alumni is a plus for network building. Also, PI is a vast category, so assuming OP has pretty specific professional interest, I would imagine there wouldn't be more than a few students at any school planning to apply for the exact same job/org in the same city as OP. Plus, unlike firms, it's not like an NGO is looking for a small smattering of students from a mix of T14 schools when it hires full-time attorneys. So from any school you're competing with other qualified candidates from all the other schools; you're not especially competing with other candidates from your own school.


Yeah, I think the competition thing really only applies to private legal markets, and only very slightly. For example, it is often the case that more NYC firms interview at Berkeley than there are students that want to go to NY, so if you fall into that subset you may have a slight advantage over someone at say Penn or Cornell given equal class standing. But that is Biglaw. OP wants PI, so the network is of the utmost importance. For getting PI Berkeley will provide greater assistance. (Also learn how to spell Berkeley).


The advantage Berkeley will give you for NYC public interest has been way overstated, if not outright fabricated. Public interest hires the people that are able to intern and hire with them. Fact of the matter is, if you live in NYC, you can intern and interview with NYC offices whenever you damn please. If you're stuck in Berkeley unable to afford several $600 plane tickets to NYC a semester, you're dead in the water compared to most Columbia and NYU grads.

I wouldn't tell you to Fordham over Berkeley, but I would definitely choose CLS in this case if you're set on NYC for the location of the job.

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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Mon May 04, 2015 9:19 pm

Tanicius wrote:
bretby wrote:
L’Étranger wrote:Total curiosity question: Even if one is on LRAP/IBR/PSLF, and has like a $300k+ sticker debt, doesn't that bring their credit rating down?

That is, whether you pay the whole thing back or not, doesn't large student debt ding your credit?


Yes - whether or not you are taking advantage of LRAP, student debt will count against you when trying to get a mortgage, etc. And for the OP with the SO who will be making $ hand over fist, just know that your crazy debt will likely no longer be LRAP eligible and will take a significant bite out of your combined earnings.


Uh, I don't think that's true. My credit score actually shot through the roof because of my student loan debt. As long as you are making payments, whether yourself or through your school's LRAP, you are fine.


Banks look at your debt loads as well when making a decision of whether to loan you money - it's not just about your credit score. DUH. The more debt you have, the less money you can likely borrow.

Based on the linked article, here's 5 factors banks look at:
- Down payment
- Job history
- Paperwork
- Debt load (including student loan debt)
- Credit score
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/2 ... /307039941
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Mon May 04, 2015 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon May 04, 2015 9:22 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:Banks look at your debt loads as well when making a decision of whether to loan you more money - it's not just about your credit score. DUH.


That's the common wisdom about debt in general; I've yet to hear of federal government student debt precluding mortgages for people with good credit. If you're worried that the bank is just eyeballing the debt outside of some credit score algorithm, you have the opportunity to tell them that you're not actually the one making the payments.

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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Mon May 04, 2015 9:28 pm

Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Banks look at your debt loads as well when making a decision of whether to loan you more money - it's not just about your credit score. DUH.


That's the common wisdom about debt in general; I've yet to hear of federal government student debt precluding mortgages for people with good credit. If you're worried that the bank is just eyeballing the debt outside of some credit score algorithm, you have the opportunity to tell them that you're not actually the one making the payments.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/home-loa ... ar-BBbTsJ3

Federal student loans go towards your debt to income ratio, which affects your eligibility. See above link.

People in PI with heavy debt loads generally don't have to worry about mortgages though - I doubt they could afford the downpayment in order to get a mortgage in the first place. If you're already fucked, who cares
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Mon May 04, 2015 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Butter
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Butter » Mon May 04, 2015 9:29 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Butter wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:Columbia might give you a better shot at PI by virtue of lesser competition compared to Berkely where a ton of people are gunning for PI.


Not sure about this. If anything, I think this cuts the other way. PI hiring is even more connections-oriented than other fields, so going to a school with other PI-interested students, faculty, and alumni is a plus for network building. Also, PI is a vast category, so assuming OP has pretty specific professional interest, I would imagine there wouldn't be more than a few students at any school planning to apply for the exact same job/org in the same city as OP. Plus, unlike firms, it's not like an NGO is looking for a small smattering of students from a mix of T14 schools when it hires full-time attorneys. So from any school you're competing with other qualified candidates from all the other schools; you're not especially competing with other candidates from your own school.


Yeah, I think the competition thing really only applies to private legal markets, and only very slightly. For example, it is often the case that more NYC firms interview at Berkeley than there are students that want to go to NY, so if you fall into that subset you may have a slight advantage over someone at say Penn or Cornell given equal class standing. But that is Biglaw. OP wants PI, so the network is of the utmost importance. For getting PI Berkeley will provide greater assistance. (Also learn how to spell Berkeley).


The advantage Berkeley will give you for NYC public interest has been way overstated, if not outright fabricated. Public interest hires the people that are able to intern and hire with them. Fact of the matter is, if you live in NYC, you can intern and interview with NYC offices whenever you damn please. If you're stuck in Berkeley unable to afford several $600 plane tickets to NYC a semester, you're dead in the water compared to most Columbia and NYU grads.

I wouldn't tell you to Fordham over Berkeley, but I would definitely choose CLS in this case if you're set on NYC for the location of the job.


I was speaking of PI irrespective of location. If it is New York specific, then of course Columbia wins hands down simply because of local connections and externships.

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Tanicius
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon May 04, 2015 9:31 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Banks look at your debt loads as well when making a decision of whether to loan you more money - it's not just about your credit score. DUH.


That's the common wisdom about debt in general; I've yet to hear of federal government student debt precluding mortgages for people with good credit. If you're worried that the bank is just eyeballing the debt outside of some credit score algorithm, you have the opportunity to tell them that you're not actually the one making the payments.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/home-loa ... ar-BBbTsJ3

Federal student loans go towards your debt to income ratio, which affects your eligibility. See above link.

People in PI with heavy debt loans generally don't have to worry about mortgages though - I doubt they could afford the downpayment to get a mortgage in the first place.


I think you're just trying to rile people up. I'll have a down payment on a house ready in 3-4 years. If my equal-income SO wasn't going back to school this year we'd probably have it together after just two.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Mon May 04, 2015 9:49 pm

Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Banks look at your debt loads as well when making a decision of whether to loan you more money - it's not just about your credit score. DUH.


That's the common wisdom about debt in general; I've yet to hear of federal government student debt precluding mortgages for people with good credit. If you're worried that the bank is just eyeballing the debt outside of some credit score algorithm, you have the opportunity to tell them that you're not actually the one making the payments.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/home-loa ... ar-BBbTsJ3

Federal student loans go towards your debt to income ratio, which affects your eligibility. See above link.

People in PI with heavy debt loans generally don't have to worry about mortgages though - I doubt they could afford the downpayment to get a mortgage in the first place.


I think you're just trying to rile people up. I'll have a down payment on a house ready in 3-4 years. If my equal-income SO wasn't going back to school this year we'd probably have it together after just two.


Where do you live? You can't buy shit in NYC or Bay Area, LA, SD, etc., California without a couple/few hundred thousand DP.

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Tanicius
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon May 04, 2015 9:59 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:People in PI with heavy debt loans generally don't have to worry about mortgages though - I doubt they could afford the downpayment to get a mortgage in the first place.


I think you're just trying to rile people up. I'll have a down payment on a house ready in 3-4 years. If my equal-income SO wasn't going back to school this year we'd probably have it together after just two.


Where do you live? You can't buy shit in NYC or Bay Area, LA, SD, etc., California without a couple/few hundred thousand DP.


Yes, because my biglaw associate classmates are buying houses in SF and NYC as they please. You don't live in those areas expecting to buy a house unless you're literally a millionaire in this day and age. Almost any other city and you can purchase a house with a salary of 50k (though I'd add Boston and DC to your list).

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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Tue May 05, 2015 12:30 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The primary benefit of this thread should be that OP now knows the options & the consequences. It is doubtful that anyone is going to recommend taking on $200,000 of student loan debt even though both law schools are outstanding. Debt affects almost every aspect of one's life. And, to be clear, your options are not limited to either Columbia or Berkeley.


Options and consequences! That's what I am here for! :)

Of course, having debt is no picnic and it's better not to have it at all. I come from a generally debt averse country, so it was shocking for me how Americans could take on a 300-500k mortgages for 30 years. And all these property taxes!!!! Keep you chained to one place!!! That IS slavery! But now I understand that it actually can be a smart decision for many people. So can a good quality education in a field you actually see yourself working, even though you cannot resell it or declare bankrupcy.

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Redamon1
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Redamon1 » Tue May 05, 2015 12:37 am

Tanicius wrote:
Butter wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:Columbia might give you a better shot at PI by virtue of lesser competition compared to Berkely where a ton of people are gunning for PI.


Not sure about this. If anything, I think this cuts the other way. PI hiring is even more connections-oriented than other fields, so going to a school with other PI-interested students, faculty, and alumni is a plus for network building. Also, PI is a vast category, so assuming OP has pretty specific professional interest, I would imagine there wouldn't be more than a few students at any school planning to apply for the exact same job/org in the same city as OP. Plus, unlike firms, it's not like an NGO is looking for a small smattering of students from a mix of T14 schools when it hires full-time attorneys. So from any school you're competing with other qualified candidates from all the other schools; you're not especially competing with other candidates from your own school.


Yeah, I think the competition thing really only applies to private legal markets, and only very slightly. For example, it is often the case that more NYC firms interview at Berkeley than there are students that want to go to NY, so if you fall into that subset you may have a slight advantage over someone at say Penn or Cornell given equal class standing. But that is Biglaw. OP wants PI, so the network is of the utmost importance. For getting PI Berkeley will provide greater assistance. (Also learn how to spell Berkeley).


The advantage Berkeley will give you for NYC public interest has been way overstated, if not outright fabricated. Public interest hires the people that are able to intern and hire with them. Fact of the matter is, if you live in NYC, you can intern and interview with NYC offices whenever you damn please. If you're stuck in Berkeley unable to afford several $600 plane tickets to NYC a semester, you're dead in the water compared to most Columbia and NYU grads.

I wouldn't tell you to Fordham over Berkeley, but I would definitely choose CLS in this case if you're set on NYC for the location of the job.


Like I said on page 1 of this thread, summers and extenships allow you to work with 3 NYC employers from Boalt if you want, and that's not counting split summers. Of course it's logistically easier to do this from CLS, but I simply pointed out that you can pull it off from Boalt if you want to or need to for budgetary reasons (BTW, not sure the flights make or break your budget given the difference in overall costs we're talking about)




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